Tag Archives: Nature

The Dot (The Dot That Couldn’t Sit Still)

Once upon a time there was a dot in the big broad universe.  One day, it gets tired of sitting still and starts to move around. The dot meets other dots and together they make shapes – squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles.  The shapes realize they can make a house. They are amazed by what they can make if they work together – highrises, the sun, the moon, and even a boy, a girl, and a cat.  The brief text is accompanied by stark black and white drawings with bright red, yellow, and orange accents.  The book is a celebration of creativity. mjw
Title: The Dot
Author: Gulnar Hajo
Illustrator
: Gulnar Hajo
Publisher
: Darf Children’s Books. London
Copyright
: 201
Original Language
: Arabic
Translator
: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
Original Title
: Hekayat Nuqta’ala dafter abyadh
Original Publisher
: Bright Fingers Publishing House. Damascus, Syria
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1-85077-329-0
Paperback pages
: 20
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: Istanbul
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Illustrator’s residence
: Istanbul
Subjects
: Creativity, Shapes, Universe

The Forest

This beautiful book is for those who are captivated by a walk in the forest.  The open-ended mystery of what lies beyond the forest is achieved through bold illustrations, embossing, die cuts, and gatefolds.  The elaborate embossed images show first a baby, then a young child, and on through to an old, wrinkled face.  New greenery grows from lines in the landscape.  This stunning work of art is about the adventure of life. mjw
Title: The Forest
Author: Riccardo Bozzi
Illustrator
: Violeta Lopiz and Valerio Vidali
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Debbie Vidali
Original Title
: La Foresta
Original Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-218-3
Paperback pages
: 72
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Italy
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish – Lopiz, Italian – Vidali
Illustrator’s residence
: Ibiza, Spain.  Berlin
Awards
: A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2018
Subjects
: Allegory, Explorers, Forests and forestry, Metaphysical, Natural world, Paper engineering, Toy book

Milky Way

In the remote mountains of Ladakh in India, Tashi is worried about his friend the roly-poly moon.  The moon always gives him “a special smile-eyes closed and no teeth showing,” But every night, the moon gets smaller and smaller until it eventually disappears.  Tashi thinks this is because the moon doesn’t get enough milk to drink.  So Tashi leaves a tall glass of milk on the window sill every night for the moon, and little by little the moon gets its full round shape back with its special smile.  Tashi’s grandma explains the phases of the moon.  Bold, colorful illustrations enhance the fun story.  A glossary of Ladakhi words and a note about Ladakh is included.  A lesson plan can be downloaded from the Yali Books website. mjw
Title: Milky Way
Author: Mamta Nainy
Illustrator
: Siddhartha Tripathi
Publisher
: Yali Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-9890615-6-8
Hardcover pages
: 44
Age range
: 4-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Ladakh, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: New Delhi
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ahmedabad
Subjects: Buddhism, Culture, Himalayas, Moon, Tibet

Birdsong

In spring, Katherena and her mother pack up their belongings and move from their home in the city by the sea.  Their new home sits on a hill overlooking a field and another home.  An older woman named Agnes lives in that home.  In summer, Katherena visits Agnes, whose yard is filled with berries, flowers, and birds.  In fall, Katherena visits Agnes again and again and they talk about the moon and the seasons.  In winter, it’s harder for Agnes to get around and Katherena draws pictures.  In the next spring, Agnes has grown weaker and Katherena decorates Agnes’s room with all of her drawings.  The textured illustrations in this book were rendered in TBC.  They warmly depict the story of a young girl and an elderly woman who share their love of nature and art.  A glossary explains Cree words that are integrated into the text. mjw
Title: Birdsong
Author: Julie Flett
Illustrator
: Julie Flett
Publisher
: Greystone Books Ltd.
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77164-473-0
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Cree-Metis
Author’s residence
: Vancouver, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Cree-Metis
Illustrator’s residence
: Vancouver, Canada
Subjects
: Emotions, Indigenous, Intergenerational friendship, Nature, Seasons

The Color Of The Sun

This story takes place in one day of Davie’s life in Tyneside, his small town home.  He takes off on a journey after what appears to be the murder of a boy he knows.  Half real and half imagined, he meets characters from his town, which has rival gangs,. Davie thinks he knows who the murderer is.  As the story progresses, it gets harder to fathom what is real.  The ending is brilliant and leaves readers feeling positive and hopeful.  The book is beautifully written. mjw
Title: The Color Of The Sun
Author: David Almond
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Hachette Children’s Group. U.K.
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0785-9
Hardcover pages
: 224
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction, Fantasy
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
Awards
: Hans Christian Andersen Medal, Carnegie Medal
Subjects
: Adventure, Coming of Age, Death and dying, Violence, Young adult boys

The Elephant

The illustrations of the elephants in this book are done in watercolor, acrylic, pencil, and crayon. They are accurate, strikingly detailed, and beautifully rendered.  They make the book!   Here, we join a young boy as he learns interesting facts about Asian and African elephants.  Elephants are intelligent and have amazing memories and excellent hearing.  They walk on their tip-toes and are either right-tusked or left-tusked.  Tusks can be as long as two seven-year-old children from toe to toe.  An introductory note describes modern threats to elephants and a map shows where these fascinating animals live today. mjw
Title: The Elephant
Author: Jenni Desmond
Illustrator
: Jenni Desmond
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-264-0
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Nonfiction, Information book
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Subjects
: Africa, African elephants, Asiatic elephants, India, Zoology

The Whale The Sea And The Stars

Gerda the blue whale listens to her mother’s beautiful song.  She sings that if Gerda ever gets lost, she should look to the stars and they would guide her.  When Gerda leaves home, she travels from warm equatorial waters to freezing polar waters. She meets penguins, a grouchy octopus, seagulls, orcas, a polar bear, and a narwhal.  Gerda wants to stop traveling and find a special place of her own. She eventually hears someone singing her mother’s song.  It is Lars, her brother.  She has found the most beautiful bay filled with more and more whales: Beluga whales and grey whales, beaked whales and bowhead whales, humpback whales and right whales, all living happily.  She knows her journey is over.  The luminous illustrations were drawn by hand on a graphics tablet and finished using natural color palettes and textures. mjw
Title: The Whale The Sea And The Stars
Author: Adrian Macho
Illustrator
: Adrian Macho
Publisher
: Floris Books, Edinburgh
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Czech
Translator
: Peter Kavecky
Original Title: Gerda Prise Velryby
Original Publisher
: Albatros Media A.S.
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-178250-559-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Slovak
Author’s residence
: Bratislava, Slovakia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Slovak
Illustrator’s residence
: Bratislava, Slovakia
Subjects
: Marine life, Narwhal, Penguins, Polar bears, Stars, Whales